Perhaps you know someone who has filed a successful slip-and-fall claim. Maybe they slipped on ice outside a store. Or perhaps it was a summertime accident, slipping and falling on a wet surface by a swimming pool. The technical name for these cases is premises liability, and it covers so much more than a slip and fall.
Here are some other ways you could be injured on someone else’s property that may be claimable under Washington state premises liability law:
- Fire: Claims could base upon the building being unsafe or the fire alarm or sprinklers not working.
- Assault: People have claimed against banks when assaulted at the ATM outside. They argued the bank should have provided security or better lighting. Others have claimed for being attacked outside a nightclub, contending the club should expect drunken revelers to become violent at times and provide staffing to prevent it.
Whether a claim will be successful depends on the specific circumstances.
- Why were you on the property? Property owners usually hold some responsibility to those who enter their property. They have more responsibility toward a paying client than a guest and less to a trespasser.
- Did the owner know about the hazard, and could they have done something about it? If there is a clear danger, such as a broken floorboard, the owner would be expected to cordon off the area or mend it. However, if they did not know about it because it only broke five minutes before, it is harder to argue they could have prevented the accident.
- What role did you play in your injury? Washington law considers contributory negligence when adjusting premises liability awards. The court will consider what percentage of the fault was yours and reduce any award by that percentage. If the floorboard broke because you were jumping up and down on it, you would carry more blame than if you only walked across it once.
Whatever the circumstances of your injury on another person’s property, you need an experienced attorney to argue your case and fight for compensation.